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Vic construction workers to protest against building code
04/07/2012 - Thousands of construction workers are expected to rally in Melbourne on Wednesday to protest the state government's new building code. Melissa Jenkins
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Firms that don't comply with the guidelines, which came into effect this week, risk being blacklisted for future government contracts.
Under the rules, a tenderer must submit a workplace relations management plan where the government contribution to the project is more than $10 million, or is at least $5 million and represents at least half of the total construction project value.
Coercion, or pressure, to make over-award payments will be banned.
Finance Minister Robert Clark says the new rules will help to deliver value for money and eliminate illegal activity on state government construction sites.
"The guidelines will require tenderers for public sector work in Victoria to commit to compliance with the law, productivity, safety and freedom of association," he said on Tuesday.
In a flyer, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) urged members to take to the streets to tell Premier Ted Baillieu to "shove" the new rules.
The union expects thousands of workers to meet outside Trades Hall at 11am (AEST) before marching to state parliament.
CFMEU state secretary of its construction division, Bill Oliver, said the new rules do nothing to improve safety or create a single job in the building industry.
"We've got a new construction code to crack down on the rights of workers," he said.
"We don't think that's what the state needs.
"They (the government) have actually yet to pop one shovel in the dirt to build a single new project."
The CFMEU is also organising a separate rally in Perth on Wednesday, where workers will converge on parliament to protest the use of foreign workers on large-scale resource projects.
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